As we watch the republican presidential primaries roll up and fade away, we’re all left to think about what’s being said by candidates, pundits and friends and then we try to reconcile that with the results. Were they wacky? Were they predictable? Can anything stop the Donald?
The news media, and the career politicians are clearly terrified and bewildered. Somehow, the things Donald Trump is doing and saying are working despite what the all-knowing political experts thought, and it’s making them a little looney. The other day when Trump won Nevada and crushed the competition in pretty much every category of voter, a commentator on CNN almost came unglued on live TV. He went on to say that he has democratic friends who are trying to decide between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
As a penetration tester, I’m fascinated by the meteoric rise and dominance of Donald Trump. He is clearly himself a devastating 0day exploit that the political establishment and the media were not prepared to deal with. But what vulnerability did he exploit?
I think what he’s done is hack the lazy, self-absorbed, and unaccountable ego of the media and the political establishment itself. They want sound-bites, he gives them soundbites. He want’s publicity, they give him publicity. They want him to say things no politician will say, he says what no politician will say. Seems like a great relationship until voters react in a different manner than the media and politicians expected them to. How can they correct that problem? They’re now in a frenzy talking down Donald Trump in hopes that voters are actually paying attention will value their their opinions which of course gives Donald Trump even more free campaign publicity.
Here’s the hack:
Pre-existing Condition: Pundits and the political establishment believe that they mold and shape voter/viewer opinions.
Pre-existing Condition: Voters are tired of hearing about how they are controlled by the media. They don’t just distrust the media and political establishment, they want to see them be proven wrong.
Pre-existing Condition: Reality TV is in some ways more “real” than what they hear about on the news because more people watch reality TV, and more of those people’s friends watch reality TV, and it’s a shared experience that they can talk about. Reality TV is everywhere, it’s hugely popular, and is seen daily by millions.
Pre-existing Condition: Trump has been widely known of by everyone for most of his life as a rich, loud, personality who says and does what he wants regardless of political correctness. He even had a successful reality TV show for 14 seasons which makes him even more of a “real” person.
- Action: Trump social engineers the GOP into thinking he could ruin their hopes for a win in the general election.
- Action: GOP installs Trumpware.
- Action: Trumpware does and says more than enough to become a ratings sensation, which draws much attention to the upcoming election, news outlets, TV, and every other form of media. They love it. They love Trumpware.
- Action: Voters respond positively to his political incorrectness, the non-stop Donal Trump coverage, and the discomfort that Trumpware is causing for the GOP, RNC, and the media. Voters love Trumpware.
- Action: GOP, RNC, and media freak out and start saying anything to try and limit the damage caused and spread of Trumpware. Their plan to remove Trumpware is to keep talking about him all the time, everywhere, no matter what. They can’r get rid of Trumpware.
- Action: Trumpware grows exponentially. Everyone talks about Trumpware all the time, everywhere, even when talking about other things. They want people to pay attention to them, and when anyone says “Donald Trump”, people listen whether they love him or hate him. The president and vice president of the United States talk about Donald Trump, the former president of Mexico drops the f-bomb on video while talking about Donald Trump, the freakin pope even talks about Donald Trump.
How many times have you said “Trump” in the last 30 days?
Result: Trumpware is a GOP, RNC, and media smacking kernel level rootkit. Trumpware is locked in a hopeless death spiral with the GOP, RNC, the media, celebrities, current and past world leaders, and anyone else who wants a news cycle with their name in the headlines. It will end with Trump as president of the United States and the most widely viewed inaugural address in history.